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Soul-warming Chicken Pot Pies

Mary Anne Erickson

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October 12, 2018

What is it about a piping hot chicken pot pie just out of the oven that makes even the most winter-weary body feel comforted? Is it the memories from childhood? (Even though my Mom bought the Swanson's frozen pies). We make ;them in large batches (as they are enormously popular here in our store) ;with Campanelli's free range chicken, and lots of fresh vegetables. This recipe serves 8, so if there are just two of you, make the whole recipe and freeze the rest - you'll be grateful on a cold night when you have no inspiration to cook!

Chicken Pot Pie
Blue Mountain Bistro-to-Go, chef Richard Erickson

Serves 8

This recipe is fairly straightforward, much like chicken soup only thickened and with lots of chicken. As with the soup, you may start from scratch or use a leftover roast chicken, depends on how much you want to make. What is essential is a good home made stock, that gives a rich, flavorful full bodied consistency to the sauce that binds all the vegetables and chicken together. For the crust you may use a prepared crust and top or bake in a baking dish using the pastry for the top only. A nice pate brisee or pie dough is what is usual, or a puff pastry dough for the top for a more sophisticated version. It's a bit of work, but if these steps are broken up, i.e…make the stock and chicken the day before, it's really straightforward. ;

I will assume that you have 2 quarts of rich chicken broth with a layer of fat on top. I will also assume that you have some cooked chicken on hand, whether it be roasted or poached makes little difference. A combination of light and dark meat is the best. ;

Now that that 's out of the way let 's get on with it.

Ingredients

2 quarts chicken stock with some fat on top

4 cups coarsely chopped or shredded chicken

1 medium onion diced

1 small leek, white only, cleaned and diced ;

2-3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped

4 cups diced vegetables cut about a 1/2” square ;

(include carrot, turnip, parsnip, celery root) at least two of these

1/2 ; bunch thyme, picked and minced. about 1 large tablespoon

1 cup butter or a combo of butter and chicken fat ;

1 cup flour

1 cup half and half or heavy cream

1/2 cup petits pois

salt and pepper to taste

In a sturdy casserole dish, slowly cook the celery, onion, thyme and leeks in the butter and chicken fat. When the mixture is soft add the cup of flour and stir well until the butter and flour are thoroughly incorporated. ;

At the same time heat the chicken stock to boiling, season with a bit of salt, and cook the mixed vegetables until they are done, about ten minutes. ;

Quickly scoop out the cooked vegetables and put them in with the other vegetables stirring well. Now add the cream or half and half, stirring well. ;

On a very low heat slowly ladle the stock into your casserole stirring well after each addition. The mixture will be extremely thick and messy at first and as you add more stock it will slowly become a rich shiny chicken veloute. It should absorb all the stock and be the perfect consistency, a bit like pudding, but if you feel it is getting too thin simply hold back a bit on the stock. On the other hand if you feel it is too thick simply add a bit more stock, or lacking that, a bit of milk. ;

Now turn the heat off and add the prepared chicken and your peas. Give it a taste. I like a bit of pepper in mine so I always grind a bit in at the end. ;

I feel it is best completely cooled when scooping into a pastry crust, it 's just a bit easier to work with. If on the other hand you are going to be baking it in a dish or individual dishes do it straight away when the mix is warm.


When the chicken vegetable mixture is scooped into the pie shells or baking dishes you have chosen, cover with the pastry and seal the edges well. Cut a small steam vent in the top and brush an egg or cream wash over the top, finishing with a bit of the chopped thyme or a few grinds of pepper. ;

Whatever you do make sure you put everything on a baking sheet as they can bubble over and make a mess in your oven if you have not. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. ;

Chef 's note:

Leftover roasted vegetables are ideal for this and can certainly be incorporated into the mix. Mushrooms…some people love them…others don 't, if you do by all means add some in. After Thanksgiving we always make a delicious turkey pot pie, same deal, just a different bird. ;